Ronchi’s Fireworks Take Islamabad To Second PSL Final

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A view of the National Cricket Stadium, venue of the domestic final of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy match in Karachi on January 13, 2011. The final of Pakistan's premier first-class domestic cricket tournament played for the first time with an orange ball under floodlights. AFP PHOTO/ Asif HASSAN (Photo credit should read ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Ronchi’s Fireworks Take Islamabad To Second PSL Final

Luke Ronchi has been in sublime form and has played some blistering knocks throughout the Pakistan Super League and today was no different as he decimated the Karachi Kings bowling attack with 94* off 39 balls which included 12 fours and 5 sixes. His innings ensured Islamabad a place in their second final in three years.

To start off the chase Luke Ronchi dispatched Mohammed Amir for three boundaries in the first over and from there onwards it was a run fest as Islamabad raced to sixty-nine runs in the first five overs. Karachi definitely missed their captain Imad Wasim, someone with vast experience of bowling in the powerplay. Although Shahid Afridi was introduced in the third over of the gameĀ  to slow the proceedings, he had no answer to Ronchi’s onslaught as he powered his way to a 19 ball 50, the fastest ever in the history of the competition.

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Islamabad United 155 for 2 (Luke Ronchi 94*, Farhan 29) beat Karachi Kings 154 for 4 (Ingram 68*, Denly 51, Sami 2-20) by eight wickets

Karachi’s poor fielding and batting approach

Kings’ ground fielding as well as their catching was dismal. Ronchi was dropped on 56 and 57 on consecutive balls by Usman Shinwari and Khurram Manzoor respectively and then again by Afridi off his own bowling when he was on 74.

Prior to this, Karachi came out with a timid batting approach as Khurram Manzoor and Joe Denly were quite cautious to start with. Islamabad kept things tight and in the fourth over their tactics paid off as Sami dismissed Khurram and Babar Azam in space of three deliveries to have the batting side in trouble at 17 for 2 at the end of fourth over. Captain Eoin Morgan’s brief stint was positive but it ended with a soft dismissal which meant Karachi only scored 52 in first 10 overs.

After that Denly and Ingram knitted a brilliant partnership and it was due to Colin Ingram’s fireworks in the end which propelled the team’s total to 154. He finished with 68 off 39 with 6 sixes and 1 four. Even with this late surge everyone felt that Karachi were 20-25 runs short on a good Dubai track which offered little assistance to the bowlers.

For Luke Ronchi it all began on 4th March in Sharjah where he pulverized the same bowling attack with a 37 ball 71 and from there on he has never looked behind. Today’s innings meant that he is now the highest run scorer in this edition of the Pakistan Super League with 383 runs.

Moving Forward

With this win, Islamabad United are through to their second final on next Sunday in Karachi. The Kings will have a second bite at the cherry as they play the winner of the match between Peshawer Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators on Wednesday.

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